Earthquake Targets 2015 Oakleigh Plate

Three-year-old Earthquake is set to continue her undefeated Caulfield Racecourse record next month after Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh revealed the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28 may be the filly’s first-up run in the autumn.

Earthquake could return in the Oakleigh Plate, continuing her unbeaten Caulfield record.

Earthquake could return in the Oakleigh Plate, continuing her unbeaten Caulfield record. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

The champion two-year-old of the 2013-14 season has won all three of her starts at Caulfield, including the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m), so a first-up run in the 2015 Oakleigh Plate would make sense.

With the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on April 25 Earthquake’s main target for the autumn carnival, a preparation via the Oakleigh Plate and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14 could prove successful for the filly.

“Her main target is the Robert Sangster (Sportingbet Classic) in Adelaide which looks a race that she’ll probably be very hard to beat in,” Walsh told Racing Victoria.

“Obviously that’s not until the back end of the autumn so we think she should be well treated in an Oakleigh Plate under handicap conditions and Caulfield suits her.

“The Newmarket Handicap could also be an option, she ran quite well in the Coolmore with things against her so we’d have no hesitation going back down the straight with her.”

Earthquake was last seen in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1. The filly delivered her first run outside the first three in nine starts, finishing six and a half lengths behind winner Brazen Beau in eighth place.

Godolphin’s latest British import Contributer will also be focused towards Melbourne during the autumn after impressively winning the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) on debut in Australia on October 18 before finishing midfield in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) three weeks later.

Walsh revealed the five-year-old is set to return in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) on February 14 with the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 14 his main goal for the autumn.

“We’re keen to give him a light preparation, we’ll give him two or three runs in the autumn and then see where he fits into the picture in the spring,” he said.

“To get the Group 3 win with him straight off the plane was a great result and we thought he ran very well in the Emirate Stakes as well so he’s a really promising horse for us ahead of the autumn.”

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